I’ve spent 30 years involved in the start-up and running of small businesses; both mine and others. During that time I’ve learned a thing or two about time management.
I also understand what happens when you ignore your relationships and health. They collapse around you.
I learned the hard way!
My day starts at 05h00, and by 07h00 I’m ready to take on the world.
It’s not so much about when you get up, but what you do in those first few hours – every morning.
- Make a list of ALL the tasks that you want to do for the day. Make sure each task will fit into an hour or less. If any tasks take longer than an hour to complete, break them down into smaller pieces. Or, identify how much of the task you want to complete in an hour. – (number of messages written, pages read, kilometres run, etc)
- Prioritising your list. Break the list into four sections: Urgent, Important, Urgent & Important, and Other. You have to be realistic about whether a task is truly important, or whether it’s just urgent.
- Schedule your priorities. Start with the Urgent & Important tasks, then the Important ones, and lastly, the Urgent ones.
- Allocate priorities. Give each of these a specific time window during the day, based on the duration of each task. Be sure to plan for just 80% of your hours available for the day. When you run out of available time, then the Urgent tasks are the first to go; followed by the Important ones. Available time after you’ve allocated all these? Then start slotting the Other tasks into the schedule.
- Start. Start with your first task at the exact time you have scheduled it.
- Adjust. If an unexpected intervention causes any delays, stop immediately! Decide which task you’re going to remove from your plan for that day. Once you’ve done that, carry on with the task at hand.